Employee engagement is all about your employees feeling motivated to represent and become advocates of your brand by promoting its content and initiatives.
For some organizations, this sounds great. Employee advocacy expands and amplifies your reach on social media through the personal accounts of your company's team members. But for other businesses, this sounds a bit scary. What if your employees post something they shouldn’t? Or, even if they knew what to post about, would they even want to get involved?
The truth is many people in your organization already post about your brand on social media, while others want to but, for whatever reason, just don’t. Some employees aren’t sure what exactly to promote or how they should promote it, while others are worried about posting content that doesn't align with branding guidelines or that will simply get them into trouble.
That said, there are many great benefits of employee engagement that will help your brand immensely. Some of these benefits may not be so obvious, and aren’t specific to your marketing department, while others will directly support your marketing and sales teams' objectives.
It’s up to you as a marketer to activate your coworkers by getting them involved in your organization’s employee advocacy program and make employee engagement an integral part of your company culture. Let’s dive into the benefits of employee engagement for your brand and your employees, as well as what you can do to get them involved.
Your brand will quickly expand its reach on social media through employee engagement and a successful employee advocacy program. Rather than continually paying for social media ads or hiring an expensive influencer, you can have people who already work for your company—and who know your brand well—promote initiatives to their followers. There are a number of reasons why this is strategy works so effectively, but what it ultimately comes down to is trust.
When a brand’s social media account posts about itself, you're a lot more likely to perceive that post the same way you would perceive an ad—with skepticism. But if one of your friends or someone you follow posts about a business, even if its where they work, you don’t view the content in the same light. You already know and respect this person, and you trust what they have to say.
Because people trust other people more than they trust brands or ads, posts from actual people see much more engagement. According to the Marketing Advisory Network, messages shared by employees on social media have 561% further reach than the same messages shared by brands. The same study also found that people share brand messages 24 times more often when employees post them than when brand accounts post them.
Some of the results of expanded reach through employee advocacy are the same as what you’d look for in paid ads or influencers. It boosts your presence on social media, it drives more leads, and it creates more opportunities.
When employees promote brand initiatives on social media, they have a better understanding of their company’s mission and how their specific role supports the organization. This leads to advocates feeling a stronger connection to the organization, which can help with employee retention.
When employees share and promote information about open positions at their organization on social media, it leads to a stronger applicant pool. According to the Marketing Advisory Network, 44.5% of people say they are more likely to apply for a job they saw their friend post on social media than they would if they saw the same position on a job board.
This goes back to the concept of trusting your friends and people you follow over a brand or an ad. If your friend says he or she really likes the company they work for and they recommend it to their followers, you’re more likely to listen to their recommendation because you trust them.
With that in mind, having your employees recommend your company as a great place to work and promoting an available position helps your Human Resources department tremendously.
Promoting brand initiatives and engaging with other players in their industry enables your employees to develop a personal brand for themselves. By being more active on social media and sharing their industry knowledge and insights, they’ll develop a reputation for being a credible and authoritative source of information. Curating content for them through your employee advocacy program will empower them to more easily share it online.
Eventually, they can grow to become micro-influencers in their area of expertise. In the meantime, there are other personal benefits for employees if they take part in employee engagement and an employee advocacy program. According to a research report from Hinge Marketing, 87.2% of employees surveyed said employee advocacy expanded their professional network, while 76% said it helps them keep up with industry trends.
There are many benefits of employee engagement for both your brand and its employees. Your coworkers outside of the Marketing department are more than likely willing to jump on board, but you need to steer them in the right direction. Employee advocacy tools, such as GaggleAMP, can help brands go about this every day and hit their marketing goals.
If you have a question or you'd simply like to learn more, please leave a comment below.
Before Maureen Condon became one of the Principals of PMG in 2006, she was a writer and a business owner – which explains why she specializes in content marketing and strategy. Covering topics that will help businesses get real, measured results from marketing – success you can see in numbers – Maureen likes to back companies in their efforts to create a strategy, a compelling message, and programs that connect with prospects, clients and influencers in ways that drive sales. And she does so, with panache!